Shrewsbury Hillwalking Club – Notes for walk leaders
Your primary responsibility is navigation: you should be familiar with the route having done a reconnoitre recently in advance of the scheduled walk, be aware of the time taken, distance, terrain, possible escape routes in case of adverse weather conditions or other problems and any risks there may be. Carry map(s) and compass.
Check the weather forecast, and advise your walkers accordingly if they need to consider heat, cold, rain, mist etc. Brief new walkers as to the length of walk and any difficulties.
Ideally walk leaders should go to the Abbey to organise car sharing and ensure that drivers have details of the car park location/walk start point. If the leader needs to meet the group at the walk start point rather than the Abbey he/she should inform a committee member in advance.
All of the walkers you’re leading should be familiar with club rules: they should carry appropriate equipment including first aid kit. Walkers joining the group before becoming members should complete the Guest Walker form (attached) and on it provide their name and both their own contact details and those of someone who could be contacted in an emergency and also sign the disclaimer. The walk leader is to retain the form for the duration of the walk but then is destroyed by him/her promptly unless an incident has occurred.
Consider asking one of the experienced walkers to act as a back marker if there’s a difficult route or poor visibility. It may not be necessary to have a back marker all day, and it doesn’t always need to be the same person.
If one of your group becomes ill or suffers an accident while you’re out, you will need to discuss the best course of action to take with others in the group; you’re not expected to make the decision alone. It’s usually advisable to find some shelter and take a few minutes to consider options. You may need to cut the route short, in which case it’s preferable (though not essential) for the group to stay together.
If you have a medical emergency which necessitates a call to the emergency services, make sure you have the grid reference, details of the injury or illness and your contact details to hand. Note that emergency calls may be transmitted via mobile phone even if your service provider shows no signal.
Club rule 9 requests leaders to give information concerning accidents to the club secretary (health and safety rep), without admitting liability, and that should include:
Claiming for recce expenses
Leaders may claim for some expenses incurred in driving a round trip of 60 miles or more to do a reconnoitre for a scheduled walk on the Club’s programme. The rates are 60+ miles £10, 90+ miles £15 and 120+ miles £20. If you wish to claim please send details of the date, mileage and destination to the Treasurer.
Revised March 2023